Android App Locks Down Your Cell Phone When You’re Driving


Oh, if only all those futurists from the 1930s could have predicted a device as wondrous as the Smart Phone. It’s the communicator from Star Trek, a world atlas, the world’s largest department store and a personal assistant / concierge all rolled into one. You could organise a wedding or run a global empire from one of these things, and many people do.

Unfortunately, like seemingly everything humanity invents, it has its downsides as well. For some of us it can be addictive and overuse of these distracting devices can result in devastating consequences for one’s self and others, especially when use in conjunction with another wonder of the last century: the automobile.

Phones and cars don’t mix. The idea that someone – anyone – can control a two tonne vehicle travelling at forty miles per hour (60 km/h) while talking, typing or searching the internet is ludicrous. And accidents happen more often than many of us care to admit. Sure, we’ve all done it, but we should know better. I mean, it’s not like alcohol or drugs are impeding our judgement on our morning commute (well, for most of us). We do it because, a) we can, b) we (probably) won’t get caught and c) we think we can multitask.

Fortunately, there are companies like Sprint and its mandatory Drive First app on its Android Smart Phones. Using the same GPS technology that underpins sat nav and the like, Drive First calculates the phone’s speed through space and locks down certain features when it “thinks” you’re driving.

Phone calls go to voice mail, text messages are auto-replied to and but three applications of the user’s choice, like maps or music, are blocked. Of course, the user can override it at any time (though these are logged for the benefit of parents, employers and overprotective spouses) and there’s even a button to dial the emergency services in a pinch.

Sprint users will be able to opt in to the service for US$2 (€1.42 a month), though it’s not yet known how much the service will cost for non-Sprint users with Android smart phones. Drive First was developed by Location Labs and made its first appearance on T-Mobile’s phone, albeit in a stripped down form. As always, we’d love to hear what our readers think about this issue and you can leave your bit below in the comments section.

By Tristan Hankins

Via Cnet , Photo: Sprint


Lobo said... »April 04, 2011

What if im a passenger?????? or on the bus??????
Whatever happened to common sense??????

Anonymous said... »April 05, 2011


It died when we started suing people for things like not warning us that coffee can be hot :P.

Anonymous said... »April 05, 2011

Did you read the article, or just look at the pictures? And I quote, "...Of course, the user can override it at any time...".

And you want to lean on 'common sense'?? What 'common sense'?? More than one study (and Mythbusters!) have proven that using a handheld cell while driving is MORE dangerous than driving drunk. Yet a significant percentage of the population STILL uses a cell while driving, so where's the 'common sense'?? Not very common, if you ask me.

I think the app is brilliant, and applaud Sprint.

Hang up the damn phone and drive.

Anonymous said... »April 05, 2011

"What if im a passenger?????? or on the bus??????"

Fuck em! I want a quiet drive uninterruptyed by bullshit calls about where we are and about how we're 5 minutes away.

Same with the bus! How fucking annoying is it to listen to someone eles's disney ringtone and then to listen to them loudly moan about their friends gossip.

Anonymous said... »April 05, 2011

"Calls to the voicemail, text messages on" lol, I guess We can text while driving.

ben said... »April 06, 2011

wait, what if i wanna call the ambulance...and does that apply on sexting?

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